After a quick morning dip in the pool, it was off to Maunday's Bay for lunch at Cap Juluca.
One of the island's oldest and most beloved resorts, Cap greets visitors with simple Mexican-tiled paths and spare white Moorish architecture, offering little hint of the stunning beach just beyond.
Lunch at Cap's beachfront restaurant, Blue, is an elegant affair, with cobalt stemware, turquoise chairs, sapphire vases, and a view of the sea in all those shades and more.
The food ain't too shabby, either.
The sandwich above is lobster salad on a Johnny cake. Which is to say, the only way to improve upon it is to serve it with a side of cheeseburger.
You can even get your daily serving of fruit here.
Although Cap's beach is technically public, the cushy chaises are for hotel guests only (in past years, Angel's smile -- or a crisp $50 bill if the beach attendant wasn't female -- was enough to secure two loungers and an umbrella, but sadly not anymore). So we headed off to Mead's Bay for piña coladas and some shade at Blanchard's Beach Shack.
And, as it turned out, hordes of people.
Just look at them all!
Now, I live in New York City, and I know a crowd when I see one. And that day on Mead's, there was a crowd. We tried to enter the water, and there she was: A lady with the audacity to be floating almost within shouting distance on a noodle. We immediately made a break for the beach, but at that same moment, an older couple had the gall to pass by hand-in-hand. Practically close enough to say hello to us! What was this, Grand Central Station at rush hour?
Oh, the humanity!
Exasperated, we retreated to our loungers, only to find that someone had parked themselves on the lounger next to ours. Right beside! I'm telling you, it was like Times Square up in there.
The noise was deafening.
And so, we made a beeline for the bar at Blanchard's Beach Shack to order some frozen drinks . . .
. . . only to find that there was a line.
Sure, back home there's a waiting list for everything from delivery rooms to burial plots, but in Anguilla? It was just too much.
I've seen shorter lines at the post office on tax day!
We grabbed our drinks, left our stuff to the mercy of the multitudes on the beach, and sprinted away, down the beach to the little cove at Malliouhana.
There, we delighted in the tiny fish nipping at our ankles and reminisced about the Mead's Bay of yore.
Finally, as the day wound to a close, we were left in peace at long last.
That evening, we set off for the Viceroy's Sunset Lounge for you-know-what.
Okay, fine, there was a sunset, too.
Can you believe this was our first visit to Viceroy? Well, except for a little stalking when they first opened.
We'd of course heard that the Viceroy vibe was more Miami than Mead's, and that the crowd could be a little New York-y (which ranks just behind sun poisoning and shark bite as the last thing we want to deal with on vacation). But we found that the Viceroy struck a sophisticated, elegant tone, and though we'd probably never choose it over the privacy of a villa or smaller resort, it was the perfect spot for a tasty pre-dinner cocktail.
Though some of the interior décor seems a little dark (both literally and figuratively) given the surroundings, overall we loved the inventive use and rich textures of the wood, marble, granite, and other natural materials.
Though I have to draw the line at these creepy chairs.
One of several restaurants on the property, Cobà is perched on a bluff with views of both Meads and Barnes Bays.
Though the Viceroy is known for its sunsets, it's an even better spot for a Sunrise, which I ordered specifically because the menu said it came with "grapefruit cubes." As soon as I saw that, I immediately began pondering all the different ways molecular gastronomy could convert a grapefruit segment into a cube. Did they vaporize it? Anti-griddle it? Emulsify and then gelify it? My mind ran wild with the possibilities.
Regrettably they did none of the above, though for $18, I think they should have at least attempted it. (Perhaps there'd been an unfortunate incident with a sous-vide machine?) But, cubes or no cubes, this was hands-down one of the best cocktails I've ever had, in Anguilla or anywhere else, and I'd happily fork over the dough for another Sunrise next time we are on island. (I won't pay $25 to rent a sunbed for the day, but I will happily spend that same amount for a single cocktail. Priorities!!)
When the sun finally dipped below the horizon, we headed off, once again, to the only place we deem worthy of a repeat dinner: Dolce Vita.
It was to be our last visit to DV on this trip, so we doubled up on the pastas to carry us through until next time.
Sadly, however, one thing was missing: Abbi was not there, which meant we wouldn't get a chance to say a proper good-bye.
But about halfway through dinner our beloved Pastafarian finally appeared, looking exhausted but nevertheless happy to see us. He later confided that he hadn't planned to come in at all that evening, but changed his mind when he saw our names on the reservations list.
I'll bet he says that to all the gluttons.
Click here to read Part 6!